The Soundtrack Of This Age

When I was a boy, my grandfather would tool around in his car listening to big band music or classical. The former was the music of his youth, while the latter was what he thought sophisticated people liked. He was not wrong about that. In his youth, the kind of music you could dance to was for proles, while the sophisticated people appreciated classical and opera. It was not as clear cut as that, but the early 20th century was a time when people still looked up for guidance and inspiration. That included entertainments.

The thing I always hated hearing from my grandfather was how modern music was terrible and not fit for civilized people. He was a man of his age and class, so he used colorful euphemisms to describe popular music. Even as a kid, I understood that every generation has their soundtrack. Maybe never having known anything but a world where pop culture dominated, this came naturally to me, while my grandfather still recalled an age before everyone had a radio and television. Maybe he knew things I couldn’t know.

Either way, I’ve always just assumed that once I passed my mid-20’s, pop music was no longer for me. Some stuff would be appealing, but most would be aimed at kids and strike me as simplistic and repetitive. There were some good bands in the 90’s that I liked, but most of it was not my thing. By the 2000’s, I was unable to name popular groups or the songs at the top of the charts. Today, I have not heard a single note from any song on the current top-40. On the other hand, I’m sure I’ve heard some version of all of it.

That may be why music sales have collapsed. A 15-year old can go on YouTube or Spotify and find fifty versions of the current pop hits, gong back before their parents were born. They can also find stuff from previous eras that was remarkably well done and performed by people with real talent. Justin Timberlake may be very talented as a singer, but no one is confusing him with Frank Sinatra. It’s simply a lot easier for young people to see that pop music is just manufactured pap from Acme Global Corp.

That’s another thing that may be plaguing pop culture in general and pop music in particular. When I was a teen, your music said something about you because you felt a connection to the band. In the sterile transactional world of today, no one feels an attachment to anything, much less the latest pop group. There’s no sense of obligation to buy or  listen to their latest release. Supporting a type of music or a specific act is no longer a part of kid’s identity. The relationship is now as sterile as society.

That is the funny thing about pop culture in our Progressive paradise. It is a lot like the pop music of totalitarian paradises of the past. The Soviets manufactured their version of Western pop, but it was never popular. Just as we see at the Super Bowl, comrades can be forced marched to an arena and made to cheer, but no one really liked it. There’s a lot of that today, as every pop star has the exact same Progressive politics and uses their act to proselytize on behalf of the faith. That’s not a coincidence. It is by design.

The West does not have a competitor that embraces freedom and liberty, so the past has become the competition. Look at YouTube and you will see that old songs and bands have enormous amounts of traffic. Given that the people who listened to Sinatra in their prime are mostly dead, it must be younger people discovering and enjoying the old stuff from when the West was still in love with itself. I’ve often been surprised to see young people, particularly young men, into music that pre-dates me, but it is not uncommon.

As an aside, I include music clips in my podcast, mostly to break things up, but also to entertain myself with inside jokes. The number one question I get from people is about the music. Every week I get e-mails asking about some clip and the e-mail is always from a younger person. If I use a clip from an old crooner, I get compliments from people of all ages. Nostalgia certainly plays some role, but most of it is people looking for enjoyable music, because the current popular music just don’t work for them.

What’s happening to pop culture is a reflection of our age. We’ve been turned into Pandas by a smothering, soft totalitarianism. The feminization of the culture means we’re ruled by mothers, who refuse to ever let us wander from the nest, physically, spiritually, creatively or intellectually. That has had all sorts of effects, like the drop in sperm counts and the collapse of popular culture. A deracinated people, kept in adult daycare centers and tended to by belligerent spinsters is not going to have a lot to celebrate or live for.

The great philosopher Homer Simpson said, “Why do you need new bands? Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact.”  There’s a lot of truth to that as per capita music sales peaked in the 70’s and began a decline until CD’s forced everyone to repurchase their music. But that peaked in the late 90’s and there has been a precipitous decline ever since. Two factors driving it would be demographics and the fact that our most musical people, blacks and Jews, no longer play instruments.

Pop music is not art, but like art it does hold a mirror up to society. In the heyday of pop music, the society it reflected was one that was optimistic and happy. Today, the society it reflects is the gray, featureless slurry of multiculturalism and the vinegar drinking scolds who impose it on us. It’s not that it is low quality or offensive. It’s that the music is a lot like the modern parking lot. It is row after row of dreary sameness. Like everything in this age, popular music has the soul of the machine that made it.


Yesterday’s Election

There was a special election to fill the seat for Pennsylvanian’s 18th congressional district  yesterday and it appears the Democrat has won. The district had gone for Trump by 20-points in 2016, but the lackluster baby boomer the  Republican Party put up could not be bothered to campaign, much less notice the issues important to the voters. The Democrat, on the other hand, sounded more like Trump on most issues, than his own party. He was lying, of course, but people will vote for a liar over someone who appears to hate them.

The yesterday men of the Left are pointing to this and claiming it is the sign of what’s to comes next fall.

The Democrat candidate claimed a congressional election in a Republican heartland in Pennsylvania, as a vote seen as a referendum on Donald Trump’s performance as president remained officially too close to call early on Wednesday.

n an ominous sign for Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, official results with all ballots from voting booths counted showed moderate Democrat Conor Lamb leading conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point.

Trump won the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District that they are contesting by almost 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.

With TV networks, which often call U.S. elections, yet to predict a winner, officials were continuing to count several hundred absentee ballots to try to determine the result.

Democratic sources said that, once those ballots were included, they expected Lamb to have won the election by more than 400 votes.

“It took a little longer than we thought but we did it. You did it,” Lamb, a U.S. Marines veteran, told cheering supporters late on Tuesday.

Speaking before Lamb claimed victory, Saccone – who has described himself as “Trump before Trump was Trump” – said the contest was not yet over.

The Democrats are looking to replay what they did in 2006 where they rounded up a bunch of reasonable sounding people to run in Republican districts. Voters, revolted by the GOP, were willing to give the reasonable sounding Democrats a shot. It was a cynical ploy, but what made it important was the shamelessness. Usually, political parties scheme to fool the voters behind closed doors. In 2006, the party was right out in the open about what they were up to and they laughed about it afterward to their friends in the press.

It’s why this coming midterm is probably going to follow a different course. For starters, the Democrats that are winning are doing so in opposition to their own party. Conor Lamb ran around saying nice things about Trump, while the Republican sounded like every generic Republican the voters have come to hate. The Left will want to pitch this as a referendum on Trump, but really what’s shaping up is a referendum on the GOP establishment. They do nothing but foot drag and obstruct the Trump agenda.

It’s also a warning to the Democrat leadership. Their coalition of fruitcakes is an unreliable voting block. You’ll note thus far that they have won these special elections by appealing to white voters, not left-handed bisexual trannies of color. Conor Lamb sounded like Democrats used to sound in the 1950’s, talking about bread and butter issues in a language normal people can understand. White people will vote for a person who is pro-white, regardless of party. That’s a lesson the Washington elite has yet to learn.

The thing is though, the establishment of both parties is locked into a model of politics that belongs in a museum, rather than a modern campaign. The old Left-Right framework is no longer relevant. Within the white vote, the issue is nationalism versus cosmopolitan globalism. The establishment of both parties continues to operate as if the politics of gesture is still salient. They still play the Fukuyama end of history stuff, where all the big issues have been decided, so what’s left is pointless gestures and meaningless symbols.

Phase change in politics is a slow moving thing as the people being phased out never come to terms with their own fate until it is just about sealed. The generation of politicians running both parties are creatures of the previous era. They evolved to fit that era and in many respects, they are the perfection of that era. The best politicians of any age usually reach perfection just as they are no longer needed. That’s America today. We have a political class perfectly designed for 1992, but utterly useless for our current era.

What this means is a period of contentious and contradictory elections, as the voters and politicians try to figure out what works. In the demographic age, democracy can only evolve in one direction and that’s people voting their skin. This is the lesson of history and the inevitable result of biology. Baby boomers are, for the most part, locked into the civic nationalist model. Younger generations are adapting to the new reality. Audacious Epigone sorted this out after the 2016 election. Hope lies in the actuarial tables.

Compassionate Racism

Imagine if science stumbled upon a set of genes that are almost always present in the criminal population. After testing thousands of prisoners, they find a set of genes in more than 90% of them. In the rest of the population, the genes appear almost only in those who have a criminal record. In other words, the correlation between the presence of these genes and criminality is so high, there has to be a causal relationship. That would be an enormous breakthrough and lead to a rethinking of criminal justice in the West.

Now, we know the racial makeup of the prison population in the US. We know blacks commit an enormous amount of crime relative to other races. The likely result of that genetic breakthrough would be the end of nonsense like this. The debate over black crime would quickly move from magic spells and evil spirits to biology. Inevitably, the presence of the crime genes would be vastly more common among blacks than other races. The question facing public policy makers would be how to use this information to reduce crime.

Now, this is unlikely to happen, but it is a useful way to think about how reality can be useful in forming public policy. In the fanciful example above, the result would be changes in how we view crime. Just as people have to accepted the fact homosexuals cannot help themselves, that they are driven by biology, people would come to accept that some people are born bad. The difference would be that efforts to address this genetic “defect” would seem completely moral. Compassion would dictate finding a cure for black crime.

It is important to remember that compassion does not have a universal and timeless definition. A century ago, the compassionate response to poverty was discipline from the upper classes, along with highly conditional charity. Even New Dealers thought paying people to loaf around was monstrously immoral. Yet today, asking a man to work for his gourmet coffee and XBox subscription is considered heartless. The point being, public morality changes and it usually changes in response to new generations.

The reason America has urban reservations full of useless black people is the rich people in charge of us ran out of ways to fix things like black crime and poverty. They simply got tired of shoveling the sand of egalitarianism and the blank slate , against the tide of biological and racial reality. The great cultural revolution that started in the middle of the last century was not the liberation of blacks and women, as is always claimed. It was the liberation of rich people from their duties to the lower classes and society as a whole.

Slowly but surely, science is creating an alternative toolkit for addressing the problems that vex modern society. There’s a reason that columns like this one are written by people with no math or science. Gavin Evans is an aging cleric for a church with empty pews. No serious person embraces the blank slate, even though it remains taboo to discuss in public the realities of biology. In fact, the shrillness of the vinegar drinking scolds is entirely due to the fact they are on the wane. They have to shriek in order to get attention.

Stories like this are becoming more common and as such people are increasingly comfortable with biological explanations to social phenomenon. Progressives still recoil in horror at the mention of science, but that’s mostly true of the older Progressives. The actuarial tables are not on the side of biology deniers. The younger generations are increasingly comfortable with genetic and statistical reality and that means the ruling class will become increasingly comfortable talking about public policy based on reality.

None of this means the ruling class is going to suddenly swing in the direction of race realism. That’s not how culture changes. Instead, morality moves like an infectious disease. A new challenge to an old moral code spreads slowly at first and then reaches critical mass. Similarly, the antibodies react in a defensive effort to ward off the new challenge. Right now, science is viewed as a mortal threat by the Progressive host, so their reaction is extreme. That means ruining careers as a way to scare dissenters.

In time though, the new generation takes up their positions and they have adapted to the new morality. All the boys are girls following sportsball through statistics and figuring out how to sell more stuff to left-handed cross-dressers on-line will have no problem thinking about crime as a biology problem. Using mouth swabs to determine that little Jamaal has less than 2% chance of going to college will sound smart. Designing an education system for little Jamaal so he can be a warehouse worker will be compassionate.

Ultimately, it will be compassionate, relative to the benign neglect we see today. Take a ghetto tour through a place like Baltimore and you see a world that should never exist in a Western country. Less than a long lifetime ago, it did not exist. It was not allowed to exist by the people in charge. The black ghetto is loud, chaotic and sadder than anything you will see in modern America. It should never have been allowed to get this way and it should not be allowed to persist. It will never be fixed, but it can be better.

The only way it gets better is to start where this post started – biology. Poor people of all races are poor because they make bad decisions, they have poor impulse control and they have lower IQ’s than the rest of the population. You can’t fix nature, but you can put structure around it to mitigate it. Poor people, especially poor black people, need rules, not choices. Allowing people to suffer at their own hands is no more compassionate than allowing a depressed person to jump off a bridge. It’s indifference, not compassion.

Once you accept the fact that biology is real, things like mandatory birth control for poor people on government assistance makes a lot more sense. Shaniqua can’t figure out that she should not have ten babies. She lacks the intelligence to think through these things. She can figure out that getting her EBT card charged up means not getting pregnant, so she will willingly sign off on Norplant. By the morality of the legacy generation, that seems monstrous. To the morality of the next generation, that will be the height of compassion.

Similarly, “fixing the schools” will always be an easy racket for grifters, but in a world of biological realism, it will be impossible to pretend that Jonquarius will one day be a computer programmer. The education reform of tomorrow will be about training 85-IQ blacks how to do something useful and avoid the obvious pitfalls of life. More important, no one is going to be deluded into thinking the black underclass will join the middle class. It’s that compassionate racism will set different objectives for the moral reformer.



The Neocon Cries Out…

Neocon Youth League leader Noah Rothman unleashed a screed the other day, calling for war upon the people he describes as “outnumbered losers.” These are people the rest of us know as Americans. For the increasingly shrill and deranged neocon cult, anyone clinging to the outmoded concept of citizenship is a useless loser. The post itself was mostly boiler plate cosmopolitan globalism, but his tweet promoting it made it sound like he wanted to genocide the white population of America. Here’s the tweet.

As Steve Sailer pointed out, this sounds like a call to marginalize the tens of millions of Americans that hold opinions Rothman does not like. It has that “through any means necessary” smell to it you see with radicalized crazies. When this was pointed out, Rothman did what these guys always do when they face resistance, which is play the victim card. It’s the same cry-bully act the cat ladies employ. They always start talking about the backlash, after they have aggressively applied the front lash.

As I pointed out the other day, these people are playing with fire. What a Rebecca Klein is doing is creating people with no choice but to become a guerrilla, at war with the system that dispossessed them. What Rothman is proposing to do is de-legitimize wide swaths of political opinion, and thereby exclude the people who favor those opinions. He’s proposing to make half the country enemies of the faith. That’s how you end up in a world of car bombs and targeted assassinations. That’s not a world for soft men like Rothman.

This is something I’ve noticed about all radicals. It is those in the greatest need of protection by the system, who are the most inclined to abuse the system, by turning it into an instrument of terror. Using the media to have political opponents driven from their positions is sort of thuggery we associate with autocrats. Internal exile, where someone is allowed to live in their community, but is shunned out of fear of association, was a feature of Russian totalitarianism. Authoritarians always enjoy the support of the weak.

In the case of the neocons, there is also what appears to be a genetic predisposition to duplicity. The whole project was kicked off by men who were dishonest even by the standards of communism. Run off by the Left, they connived their way into Buckley Conservatism, passing themselves off as a newfangled form of cosmopolitan conservative. Now that the Right has finally figured out it was a con, and they are in need of a new host, these people are retooling their scam as classical liberals.

Maybe it is just monkey see, monkey do, but there really does appear to be a level of coordination on this front. Ben Shapiro is fond of passing himself off as a classical liberal, all but claiming direct ancestry to the Founders. Jonah Goldberg likes wearing the beard of classical liberalism. As we saw when they infiltrated mainstream conservatism, the neocon project begins with subtly undermining and co-opting the host. They are now hard at work redefining classical liberalism to be multiculturalism with a tricorn hat.


Before anyone starts howling about antisemitism, liberal Jews in America have always been astonishingly honest in their political dealings. Bernie Sanders, for all is faults, is not trying to fool anyone about who he is and what he advocates. At the same time, Jews in paleo-conservatism have been the most strident in opposing the neocons. What we’re talking about is a weird Jewish sect with roots in the old Russian Empire. I’ll note that Noah Rothman was a Russian Studies major and often wakes to the sound of hoofbeats.

Paul Gottfried appears to be right that this eternal hostility to the host is a peculiar feature of some Eastern European Jews.This talk he gave at the Property and Freedom conference on the subject is worth the time. I would add that it appears that these people have developed an identity that is negative. It is based on having an eternal enemy against whom they wage a holy war. The Soviets filled that role for a long time. Then it was the Muslim radicals for a while and now it is the population of their host nation.

Another element of this is the suicidal instincts of the neocons. In many respects, they resemble the twelver cults, in that they believe they must live their lives in order to bring about then end times. You get the sense they are itching for a confrontation with Russia, because they are hoping for nuclear war. Similarly, the agitation and provocation we see in the Rothman column suggests they are trying to conjure an antisemitic backlash. In the absence of hoofbeats and shattering glass, they are without purpose and identity.

Lucky for them and for us, antisemitism has never been part of the American culture. In fact, most white people find it ugly and vulgar. That’s not likely to change, no matter how many people read Kevin McDonald’s books. Instead, contra Rothman, it is the neocons who are being overwhelmed and neutralized by a rising tide of demographic realism and economic nationalism. Cosmopolitan globalism has been tried and found wanting by the vast majority of Western men and is slowly being yanked out by the root.

On Writing

One of things I wish I was better at doing is answering questions sent by readers and now listeners. I have an e-mail address tied to this site, but I don’t look it often enough, so I tend to be late in getting back to people. Then there are the questions that come through the comment section of YouTube and through social media. In an effort to clean up my act I have been trying to catch up on all of it and I noticed I get a lot of questions about writing and the task of writing. It’s a popular topic, apparently, so I thought I’d make a post of it.

It’s good timing, as I have started to go through my posts here looking for ones to pin to a greatest hits link on the site. This is a very common suggestion, so I’m working on that now. That means re-reading five year old posts, which has been edifying. I started this blog with the idea of doing no editing, just a stream of consciousness sort of thing, but that did not come out well. Looking back, I appreciate the terribleness of the effort even more, as I have evolved a style that seems to work pretty well for me and my audience.

That brings me to the question I get a lot and that is, how to be a good writer. I don’t know the answer to that as I’m not sure you can be a good writer in the objective sense. I like certain styles more than others, but that does not mean the styles I don’t like are the result of bad form. I could have weird tastes. My hunch is “good writers” are those who have figured out a style that works for them. It allows them to efficiently get across to the reader, the points they are trying to make on the subjects they find interesting.

Most likely, the only way to do that is write a lot. Looking over this blog, I see that I have slowly, through trial and error, developed a style that I like reading. It took a while and some of my ideas turned out to be wacky, but for the last couple of years I have stuck to a form and method that I find easy. This has corresponded with a rapid growth in readership, suggesting that I have found a style that works for me. I find it easier to write now than at any time in my life, so I suspect getting “good” means finding what works for you.

On the other hand, I’m a different reader than I was five years ago. Until I started posting every day, I never thought too much about writing styles. When I did start thinking about it, I became a different reader. I also started reading much more and much more variety. I have read books and articles on a much broader range of topics that in the past, mostly because I’ve become curious about writing styles. Writing a movie review is a different task from writing a short story. Different jobs mean different skills.

If I were giving advice to a young person, who wanted to make a career writing, I’d probably tell them to read for a few hours each day, but never read the same type of material two days in row. The thing I’ve come to notice about the popular writers I don’t like is they are blinkered. I get the sense that they are not very curious about the world. Maybe that’s the key to being an enjoyable writer, a healthy curiosity. Or, maybe it is just something I enjoy. It’s hard to know, but reading is always its own reward.

A related question I get a lot, concerns the writers I mock from time to time. The reason I make sport of people like Kevin Williamson is not the content, so much as the lack of candor. I like opinion writers who write their own opinions. For me, the best writers are those who are smart, honest and clear. Over the last few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Williamson is none of those things. I never liked George Will for much the same reason. Will is a ridiculous phony and I have no tolerance for phonies.

On the other hand, one of my favorite writers ever was the late Christopher Hitchens. I doubt I agreed with any of his opinions, but he always struck me as someone who said what he thought and did so in a way that made it easy to understand. He was also a well read and smart guy. He just happened to believe a lot of insane things about the world, but he was a extraordinarily good writer. I never read a Hitchens piece and thought he was trying to fool me or he was simply writing for a paycheck. That counts for a lot.

Clarity is probably the rarest thing in writing, so I really appreciate that in writers. I’m re-reading Greg Cochran’s The 10,000 Year Explosion and I marvel at the clarity. These are hard topics, yet Cochran has a way of getting to the point that makes the material easy to understand. Getting to the point is the key. I’ve never understood why anyone wants to be a windbag. My advice to any writer is make your point and move on to the next point. If you need to keep returning to the point, maybe you don’t know the material.

Finally, a question that comes up often is why I pick the topics I pick every day. Maybe there is some pattern here that I don’t see, but my selection criteria is quite elaborate and complex. I sit down and whatever comes to my head at the moment, is the topic for the day. I like writing in the morning, so whatever I woke up thinking about that day is the topic of the day. Basically, I write about what I feel like reading about at the moment. Usually, I don’t find much out there, so I write what I wish I could be reading.

Until just now, that’s not something I thought about much, but my bet is the really good writers stick to a style and focus on subjects they like reading. I’m a Faulkner fan, having read everything he wrote, and that’s what always struck me about him. He wrote with himself as the target audience. Hemingway wrote to impress people, but Faulkner wrote to entertain himself. In the fullness of time, Faulkner will be remembered as one of our greatest writers and Hemingway will be remembered as a boorish clown.

The Eternal Hive

The late great Joe Sobran came up with the metaphor of the insect hive to describe the group behavior of various sorts of Progressives. It was a useful way of describing the spontaneous cooperation that has always been a feature of the Left.  It is the dominant feature. Progressives will suddenly flock to an issue, all chanting the same lines and howling the same protests, as if they are a trained army of lunatics unleashed on the rest of society. It is a behavior that looks coordinated, but it is spontaneous and instinctive.

The most recent example of this was the reaction to the Dylann Roof shooting at the black church. All of sudden, as if commanded by a super villain from a secret lair, the nation’s Progressive loonies began chanting in unison about the Confederate battle flag. Even the sober minded had to wonder if this was not a planned effort, all setup and ready for the signal from HQ. Within a few hours we went from indifference to Confederate symbols to roving bands of lunatics toppling over statues and digging of Confederate graves.

Imagine the sort of person, who, upon hearing about a shooting, immediately thinks it is time to topple over a statue in their local park. What sort of person sees their coreligionists howling about something and then begins howling uncontrollably as well. Imagine what it is like to have no agency, in terms of how you react to public events. Presumably, there is something stimulating to the person who does this. Perhaps the swarm behavior releases endorphins, freeing the adherent from the torment of reality for a while.

It’s not an unimportant question. A generation ago, Progressives were programmed to swarm over economic issues. Socialism still provided the general framework of their imagined utopia, so they regularly launched into assaults on business, claiming to defend the interests of the working class. Yet, when socialism collapsed, Progressives quickly shifted from socialist utopianism to sexual and racial utopianism. The same people who used to put Darwin fish on their Subaru, now howl about scientific racism.

Sobran was correct to point out that Progressives have the same reaction to perceived threats as bees when they fear a threat. The resulting attacks are not indiscriminate, but they are excessive. The Progressive has a binary view of the world, where those inside are allies and those outside are enemies. In this regard, Progressivism functions like cult, where the focus of the adherents is always on a devil, real or imagined. The difference is, their devil is a shape-shifter, taking on new forms to fit every occasion.

It’s tempting to assume that a pattern must have some causal agent, some intelligent force behind it. It is the nature of man to confuse cause and purpose. In fact, this is why efforts to oppose the Progressive war on the American culture have always failed. The defenders assumed an intelligible purpose behind the actions of the Left so they invested their time in defeating those arguments. In reality, the cause of Progressive rage was always a biological response to what the groups has determined to be a threat to the hive.

Another way the Left functions like a hive is how individual members react to being cut off, even temporarily, from the hive. A lefty in a room full of people it perceives as hostile will become very passive. Reverse the roles and put a normal person in a room full of Progressives and they will attack him relentlessly. It’s why far left TV shows have a narrow, but loyal following. It is how the isolated Progressive can connect with the other members of the hive. These TV shows are the televangelists of the Left

This is probably why the Left has become obsessed with purging dissent from the Internet. Social media now supplements the pheromones used to synchronize behavior of the group. Twitter and FaceBook are becoming neural pathways for the hive, so that far flung members can pick up cues from other members. “Trending in Twitter” is becoming a way for Progressives to know what they are suppose to like and, more important, what they are supposed to hate. Right wingers on social media scramble the signal.

Even though observed patterns may not have a central control mechanism, they must have a cause. In the case of Progressives, it is clearly something biological. Even those who manage to leave the cult, never really lose the hive mindedness. Like reformed smokers, they usually direct this instinct to criticizing their former hive mates. You never see a former Progressive activist that is now disconnected from social causes, living a quiet life alone somewhere. When Lefty leave the hive, it is to serve another queen.

Most likely, this behavior traces back to the dawn of man. A deep, emotional commitment to the group would have evolutionary advantages. Status within the group would be higher for those who were most ferocious in defending the group. Well into the agricultural age, the leader of a people was often the most celebrated warrior. Perhaps this small group instinct manifests in a organized society, as a form of social fanaticism. In all times and all places, the reformer imagines himself protecting the weak from the strong.

Fanaticism, of course, has its utility to organized societies. The Greeks figured this out when observing that warriors were most ferocious when fighting on their own land. When advancing into foreign lands, they became more conservative. A focused, controllable fanatic is very useful in warfare. Similarly, organized religions can never have a shortage of those willing to risk it all to spread the good word. More than a few zealots ended up in the cannibal’s pot, but there were always more zealots ready to convert the cannibal.

This innate hive-like behavior of some elements of Western society has obviously not been a detriment to progress. The thing is though, there has always been a transcendent set of limiting principles, operating like a leash on the fanatic. Christianity, for all its faults, puts hard limits on what people can do to one another. When that is removed, the zealots are free to attack perceived enemies without restraint. Like Africanized honeybees, utopian socialists of various types slaughtered tens of millions they saw as threats.

The key insight of Sobran was that the hive-like behavior of the American Left was not caused by socialism or radical ideology. The causal relationship was the other way around. The hive-like behavior was a constant, a part of the American biology. When the socialist paradise collapsed, the Left switched to sexual and racial utopianism. That means when the current rage heads burn what’s left of society, only to not arrive at the promised land, they will find some new fantasy to embrace. The Hive is eternal.


The Social War

For most modern Americans, the issue of “rights” is talked about in spiritual terms, more than practical or legal terms. The concept of Natural Rights has lost all meaning to the modern person, even though our laws depend upon the concept to a great degree. This is not entirely wrong. As Western societies have evolved since the Enlightenment, the concept of rights has expanded and evolved as well. Today, what we think of as “our rights” fall into three general areas, civil, political and social.

For Americans, the concept of civil rights has been tangled up in racial politics, mostly because Baby Boomers continue to carry on as if Martin Luther King died last week. As a result, three generations of Americans have been steeped in the mythology of the Civil Rights Movement, thinking it only applies to blacks. Putting that aside, we expect equality before the law and due process. The law should apply to everyone equally and the administration of the law should follow a transparent and predictable process.

While civil rights is equality before the law, political rights are about equality in formulating the law. That means having an equal shot to participate in the political process of selecting representatives, the crafting of laws and deciding how it is accomplished. Equality before the law is not worth a lot if your enemies have a monopoly of political power or the exclusive right to dictate the law. The real change in the Civil Rights Movement was in the political realm. Blacks are now fully included in the nation’s political process.

Oddly, as civil and political rights have expanded, social rights have contracted. The right to live your life unmolested by other people or institutions is increasingly difficult. It used to be a given that a man had a right to anonymity. That’s just about impossible today. More important, it is increasingly difficult to hold opinions and beliefs that are outside of the narrow range of acceptable. Half a century ago, people dreamed of a colorblind future, but today, people dream of not getting fired for posting FBI crime stats on FaceBook.

This relentless intrusion on our social rights is in the news on a daily basis. This story from Tampa is representative example. Here we have a woman, hounded by the religious authorities, because she holds unapproved opinions. You can be sure that the ululating fanatics will be badgering her school system to fire her from her job. We now live in a society in which thinking things that were commonly understood a generation ago, is used to ruin a person’s life, making them unemployable and a pariah in their own community.

This erosion of social rights is not just in the public sphere. If a group of people holding unapproved thoughts wants to have dinner or get together for some socializing, the religious authorities will seek them out and call down the rock throwers on them. This story from Michigan is a typical example. These people are going to great lengths to avoid drawing attention to themselves, yet the local Progressives are hunting them down, hoping to prevent them from having dinner together. Iran has more social liberty.

Of course, the war on social rights is just the start. The orchestrated assault on the nation’s oldest political rights organization is one example of the effort to extend the denial of social rights to the denial of political rights. The ongoing legal effort to deny Americans their civil rights, based on their failing to adhere to official dogma, is another aspect to this subversive war on our general liberties. The plaintiffs are asking the court to create a new legal status for heretics, that denies them the rights and privileges of citizenship.

Now, the reason Western societies evolved political systems that respect civil rights and allow for near universal participation in politics is to promote stability and reduce political violence. When the working class can organize around the candidates of their choice, they don’t have to stage bread riots. When minority groups can expect equality before the law, they don’t have to make war on the majority. Participatory democracy, in theory, gives everyone a stake in the system and a reason to defend it against subversion.

What’s happening today is not just an organized effort to defeat ideas or fashion majorities against those ideas. It is a unilateral declaration that a growing list of opinions and ideas are off-limits. Anyone that embraces them, or is suspected of embracing them, is outside the sphere to which civil, political and social rights apply. These outside people become fair game, as they have no legal avenue to seek redress. A person who loses his job because he agrees with what his grandfathers thought, is a man without a country.

In this Tucker Carlson profile, Carlson makes the point that he lives in a great neighborhood with smart wonderful neighbors. It’s America as it was in 1955, so naturally the people living there are deeply satisfied with their work as a ruling elite. The reason for that is they have no idea what’s happening out in the hinterlands. They avoid the consequences of their preferred polices. If hordes of migrants show up in their schools or they start losing their jobs to cheap foreign imports, they will not be so self-satisfied.

The same logic applies to what’s happening in this social war being waged against political dissidents. The people hounding school teachers out of their jobs can feel self-satisfied, because they get to avoid the same treatments. The people harassing companies to break ties with the heretics, have no skin in the game, so they are free to over indulge in righteous indignation. At some point, this asymmetry becomes the focus of those being systematically excluded and they start thinking about how to remedy it.

That’s why the current climate is so dangerous. Nature supplies more men with nothing to lose than any society can need. A political system that systematically marginalizes large swaths of young men, telling them they have no place in the world, is a society begging for political violence. Rebecca Klein of the Huffington Post may be feeling smug, for having “outed” a bad thinker, but she is not going to be so smug when her Prius blows up when she tries to start it. That’s where this war on our social rights is heading.

In the Civil Rights Movement, there came a point where the people in charge faced a choice. They could let reasonable men on both sides find a reasonable accommodation, or they could let the unreasonable men on both sides fight it out. Today, the people in charge have that same choice. They can put their unreasonable people on a leash and deal honestly with the reasonable people in dissent, or they can continue to wage this social war and invite the war into their streets and their neighborhoods.

This will not end well.

The Public Square

If you wanted to start a delivery service, you would need vehicles of some sort to make your deliveries. You would need to hire drivers and people to help figure out the logistics of delivering whatever it is you intend to deliver. The other thing you would need is permits to operate your delivery vehicles on the road. The reason for that is the roads belong to the public. The job of the state is to maintain the roads and part of that is regulating how the roads are used. That means you have to obey the rules in order to use the roads.

This may seem obvious, but it is not something that was always obvious. For most of human history, the concept of a “public good” did not exist. In a feudal economy, everything belongs to the king or lord. The common grazing lands would be used by everyone, but they belonged to the king and so did the animals. The military, which defended the king’s lands, was the king’s army, because it was explicitly for the use of the king to defend his possessions. In feudalism, there were no public goods.

Under communism, in theory at least, everything is a public good. The people own the land and the capital that is accumulated through labor. In reality this is a fiction, of course, as it is the state that owns everything. The party controls the state and those who control the party essentially own everything. This is not a lot different from feudalism, except that the guy in charge is not the leader of “his people” in the ethnic sense. Otherwise, all goods, excludable and nonexcludable are held by whoever runs the party.

It is only in participatory government where we have to think about public goods. Things like parks, highways, seaports, rivers, the military and even the air are considered public goods. How these are used and regulated is determined by the people’s representatives in government. All of us get the benefit of these things so all of us have a say in how they are regulated. It’s why a city has to issue permits for parades and protests, when the participants are unpopular. Even the ugly and annoying get to use public goods.

The concept of public goods, like the concept of participatory government, did not spring from nothing. It evolved over time as people worked through how to conserve and manage things like natural resources. The American national park system was created because it solved the problem of managing the great natural wonders of the country. The government manages fisheries, because we slowly figured out, due to over fishing, that even the coastal waterways are public goods and must managed as such.

This notion of public goods is what drives the idea of universal suffrage. The government itself is seen as a public good. The military does not just protect property holders or natives. The police don’t just patrol the streets of land owning white males. If all of us are going to get use of the government, good and ill, then all of us should have some say in how the government runs, within reasonable limits. We bar criminals from voting, for the same reason we ban the insane from voting. These are exceptions that prove the rule.

This link between democracy and public goods is important to keep in mind when thinking about the on-going efforts by Progressives to shut-off dissent from the Internet. Like trucking companies, outfits like YouTube could not exist without the information super highway, owned by all of us. It’s why these big content providers fight to prevent the ISP’s from throttling their content. If Comcast can block NetFlix from its networks, Comcast can suddenly operate like a protection racket, stripping these services of their profits.

Now, it is not unreasonable to demand companies like YouTube pay some special tax for their use of the Internet. They use this resource way out of proportion than anyone else, so a special use tax is a way to address it. Trucking companies pay special use taxes, because heavy trucks are more damaging to the road than your car. Similarly, parade organizers are often charged for police details and other security measures, because these are above and beyond normal use of the streets.

Like the parade route or the public park, there is an overriding issue and that is these public goods are intertwined with our democratic form of government. Controlling access to the park for a rally, is no different than controlling access to the public square for a political speech or access to the ballot for a political party. Even if a public park is managed by a private operator, a common thing these days, the rules governing this public good still apply. Regardless who who cuts the grass, the park is ours.

That’s what needs to apply to these large social media companies. Like it or not, the internet is now the public square. These services like Twitter and YouTube only exist because the public square exists and the concept of the public good exists. If Twitter goes away tomorrow, the internet still exists. If the internet goes away tomorrow, all of the social media platforms go with it. In this regard, they are no different from a vendor operating in a public park. They must abide by the same rules as the public.

As far as the argument that these are private companies goes, well, that is true, but again, they cannot exist without this commonly held thing called the internet. If FaceBorg had to build out its own infrastructure to deliver cat videos and virility ads to your grandmother, it would have to charge granny millions for the service. In other words, these services benefit from this public utility we call the internet, the trade-off for them, like a public broadcaster, is they have to adhere to the rules the public sets for regulating that utility.

The rules we apply to holding rallies in public parks, holding parades on public streets and issuing permits for conducting commerce on public thoroughfares need to be applied to businesses that operate on-line. If Twitter wants to charge users like a private club, then they can impose ideological rules. If they want to operate as a public square, then they must operate like one. This is the California model that is now going to be used in a lawsuit against Twitter. It needs to be the model nationally so we can have a public square back.

Electric Lies

Once a week, I go through the mail, pay any bills that are due in the coming week and review my credit card account for accuracy. This week I had a notice from my electric provider, which purports to judge my electricity use compared to my neighbors. I get these once a month, but I just toss them in the trash. I don’t care how I compare to my neighbors on anything, much less something as unimportant as electric use. My assumption is the state has told the provider they have to do this for some reason. I don’t know.

This month, I decided to look at it. The report alleges that the good neighbors in my area are using 214 kWh per month. To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on all day uses about 2400 watts or 100 watts per hour. That’s 72 kWh per month. That means my moral neighbors have three 100-watt bulbs burning all day everyday, but nothing else. Assuming they have other things, those bulbs are off most of the time, so they can have enough juice to run the fridge and maybe charge a cellphone a few times a month.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. To be generous with the electric company, it is most likely the case that they are using data from homes that are unoccupied or perhaps hovels that are now vacant, except for one light at the door. No one, not even someone in a studio apartment can get by with just a few bulbs worth of electric. A typical desktop PC will use 60 kWh per month, assuming the user turns it off at night. Modern television, gaming systems and other video devices use similar amounts of electricity.

In my case, I am a fanatic about turning lights off as I leave a room. It’s not that I give a damn about the planet, which I don’t, it’s that leaving lights on bugs me. In my home, the only light on at any time is the light in the room I’m currently in at the moment. I turn the light off as I leave the room. The only devise I leave on is my desktop, the refrigerator and the charger to my mobile phone. Since I’m not home most of the day and I’m asleep most of the night, my energy use is as close to the minimum as is possible.

Yet, the electric company informs me that I’m a wastrel compared to my neighbors. In fact, they claim I use twice what my good neighbors use. Of course, there are some things that we take for granted, like the HVAC unit, which runs whether you are home or not. The same is true of the hot water heater, the security system and various little things that are in every home. That’s the point though. They are in every home. According to the electric company, my good neighbors shut off their HVAC system before leaving the house.

The truth is, this report is most likely just nonsense. I was out and about today and asked three neighbors if they got their report card. All reported that they were horrible people, squandering the nation’s precious resources on silly things like their porch light. The amusing bit was the one neighbor had been out of town for three weeks. He actually turned his HVAC unit down to the minimum and shut off all of his lights except one, which was on one of those timers to make it look like he was coming and going.

Now, the electric company has no incentive to encourage conservation. They get paid by the kWh so they would very much like all of us to leave our homes lit up like airports. It’s good business for them. Most likely, there is some rule that the government imposed on them, that requires them to encourage conservation. Rather than be honest about it, they made this farcical mailer they send to everyone each month. Some portion of the my electric bill includes the $3 of cost to them for sending me this page full of lies.

Of course, institutional mendacity is a feature of the managerial state. The people tasked with lecturing me about my electric use most likely assume I don’t care or that I don’t believe them. They have to know that what they do has no purpose, but you can be sure they come to every staff meeting armed with the same phony-baloney charts and graphs they send me every month. Perhaps at some level, the pointlessness of it all is a small comfort to them. An irrelevant liar is better than a dangerous one.

Regardless, you have to wonder if the proliferation of nonsense is slowly undermining the purpose of the managerial state. A generation ago, the organs of authority could rally the people to a cause. There were plenty of skeptics, but most people were willing to trust the authorities. Today, the default assumption is that everything from official circles is a lie until proven otherwise. It’s something James Burnham could not have envisioned. The fungus of managerialism that grew over the state is slowing draining it of its life.

Reality Returns

All of the usual suspects are freaking out over Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. Most of it is by hysterics masquerading as analysts. Some of it is simply the innumerate throwing yet another tantrum about the bad man who vexes them. Some of the hysteria is due to the fact that people in the chattering classes were sure they had talked this bit of reality into going away for good. Reality, however, is that thing that does not go away when you stop believing in it. The reality of trade is now back.

The amusing thing about trade debates among the chattering classes is that they never bother to mention the trade-offs that come with trade policy. Trade is, after all, like any other public policy. There is no policy option that does not come with a set of pluses and minuses. Our rulers, however, were sure they had sacralized their preferred set of trade-offs a long time ago. It turns out that the only people on whom this worked are the innumerate numskulls in the press. The rest of us remain skeptical about “free trade.”

In theory, which means not in reality, trade between countries is a net benefit to both countries. Open trade with Canada means they can sell more beaver hats and hockey sticks to Americans, thus making the typical Canadian richer. Similarly, it means Americans can sell more apple pies and boomsticks to Canadians, thus making the typical American richer. In reality, there will be Canadians who suffer from free trade with America and Americans who also suffer in the exchange. That’s how the world works.

While the hockey playing folks of northern Virginia will benefit from cheap hockey sticks from Canada, the suddenly unemployed hockey stick makers in Minnesota are the ones paying the price for it. Similarly, the apple growers of Canada get stuck with the bill for the suddenly cheap apply products in Toronto. The hidden cost of free trade is a lot of people you don’t know losing their jobs or seeing their wages cut. When you’re the guy getting the pink slip, the cost is not hidden and that has a social cost, as well.

Now, trade can be beneficial to both countries in that it promotes efficiency. The lazy and unscrupulous hockey stick makers in Maine, suddenly have to compete with the crafty canucks. This means better hockey sticks, but also less waste. Protectionism, like all public polices, comes with a cost too. That cost is more often than not carried by the consumer. Worse yet, it often promotes the sorts of corruption of public officials that erodes public trust in institutions. Again, there is no free lunch. Life is about trade-offs.

That is why the ruling class is in a panic over the Trump trade policies. It’s not about the cost of steel and aluminum. It is not about the possibility of retaliation. The real fear is that decades of hard work to de-legitimize open debate about trade policy is being undone. It means all of these trade-offs that come with trade between nations will have to be discussed. The billionaire class that has benefited from the current set of polices, is in no mood to defend their fiefs from the rabble. So, in waddles the clown army.

The fact is, the current trade regime ushered in after the Cold War, has proven to be the boondoggle critics like Pat Buchanan warned about 30 years ago. Open trade with Canada, an English-speaking first world country, is mostly beneficial. Trade with Mexico, a third world narco-state that now operates as a pirate’s cove for Chinese and American business, has been a disaster. NAFTA has made Mexico a massive loophole in American labor, tax, environmental and trade policy. A loophole ruthlessly exploited by China.

The current trade regime is also at the heart of the cosmopolitan globalism that seeks to reduce nations to a fiction and people to economic inputs. This neoliberal orthodoxy has eroded social capital to the point where the white middle class is nearing collapse. It’s not just America. The collapsing fertility rates in the Occident are part of the overall cultural collapse going in the West. Slapping tariffs on Chinese steel are not going to arrest this trend, but it does open the door for cultural critiques of the prevailing orthodoxy.

That’s the reality our betters would just as soon not allow back into the conversation. The fact is, a nation is its people. What defines France is the shared character and shared heritage of the people we call French. What defines a people is not the cost of goods or the price of labor. What defines a people is what they love together and what they hate together. It is the collection of tastes and inclinations, no different than family traditions, that have been cultivated and passed down from one generation to the next.

Even putting the cultural arguments aside, global capitalism erodes the civic institutions that hold society together. Instead of companies respecting the laws of host nations and working to support the welfare of the people of that nation, business is encouraged to cruise the world looking for convenient ports. There’s a word for this form of capitalism. It’s called piracy. Global firms flit from port to port, with no interest other than the short term gain to be made at that stop. Globalism is rule by pirates.

That’s the reason for the panic by the public relations firms hired by our globalist, billionaire masters. To question “free trade” is question the arrangement that keeps the current regime in place. It may seem like a small thing, tariffs on steel, but it is the sort of thing that can unravel the entire project, because it legitimizes the sorts of questions that can never be answered honestly by globalist. To his credit, Trump seems to get this, which is why he has pressed ahead with this. He’s flipping over an important table in this fight.